PLP: ‘More Information Is Required On Airport’

November 30, 2016

“It was only after immense pressure by the Opposition and the public that the government, Aecon and CCC finally relented on their long-standing and unjustified refusal to release the schedules of the Airport Development Agreement,” Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister of Finance David Burt, adding that the  ”documentation released is insufficient and more information is required for Members of Parliament to make an informed decision.”

David Burt Bermuda November 30 2016

Schedules Released, Debate Postponed

Yesterday Speaker Randy Horton confirmed that AECON and CCC agreed to release the Schedules, and the debate on the airport has been moved from today to Friday so that MPs can review the documents.

Speaker Horton stated, “Over the past few days, I have had several meetings with the Premier, The Hon. Michael Dunkley, JP, MP, Opposition Leader, The Hon. David Burt, JP, MP, and their respective teams.

“During these meetings, I suggested that more time be allowed to study the just-released reports surrounding the airport redevelopment project. The reports are: Overall Business Case – Entrustment Report [November 17, 2016]; L.F. Wade International Airport Redevelopment / The Entrustment Report Summary document [November 2016]; and Value for Money Assessment prepared by Steer Davies Gleave on L.F. Wade Airport Redevelopment Project Final Report [November 2016].

“I also raised with the Government the importance of releasing the Schedules of the Airport Development Agreement. The Deputy Premier noted that the Schedules were subject to a non disclosure agreement and he would have to obtain permission from AECON and CCC. I asked him to get permission from them.”

“I am pleased to report that AECON and CCC have agreed to release the Schedules publicly. I then asked the Government to consider moving the debate from tomorrow to Friday so that Members can review all document in preparation for the debate. This was agreed.”

Premier Michael Dunkley’s Comments

Yesterday Premier Michael Dunkley said, “Debate on legislation regarding the redevelopment of the L.F. Wade International Airport will take place on Friday instead of tomorrow.

“The Speaker of the House of Assembly, after consulting with the Government, made the decision to postpone the debate to give Members of Parliament time to review just-released documents relating to the proposed Airport Agreement.

“The Schedules had been part of a non-disclosure agreement between the Governments of Bermuda and Canada through its agency, the Canadian Commercial Corporation and its prime subcontractor Aecon Group Inc., and so were not made public last week with the release of other documents related to the Airport project.

“The release of the Schedules – at the behest of this Government – is in keeping with the Government’s commitment to fully inform the people of Bermuda at all steps of the Airport Redevelopment Project.

“It is my hope Members of the Opposition take this opportunity to review the documents for Friday’s debate to approve a project that will: Generate jobs, career and business opportunities for Bermudians, Get built on time, on budget, and Stimulate economic growth with no increase the national debt.

“This is a project of national importance that will protect and strengthen Bermudian families for years to come. We look forward to Friday’s debate,” the Premier said.

 Opposition Leader David Burt’s Comments

Mr Burt said, “The release of the schedules to the Airport Development Agreement, 15 months after it was signed, is barely a partial victory for people in this country who want transparency and good government.

“It was only after immense pressure by the Opposition and the public that the government, Aecon and CCC finally relented on their long-standing and unjustified refusal to release the schedules of the Airport Development Agreement.

“The documentation released is insufficient and more information is required for Members of Parliament to make an informed decision.

“Of necessity is the release of the Project Agreement itself, which will govern the 30-year concession between Government and Aecon. The release of the schedules is a feigned attempt at transparency as the substantial contract details still remain unknown.

“I remind the people of Bermuda that something of this nature has never been done in this country. The OBA is attempting to privatise one of Bermuda’s largest and highest income earning assets to a private company that did not have to participate in a tender process.

“Without full disclosure, the OBA wishes to irreversibly bind the Bermuda taxpayer to a 30-year contract in a deal they committed to in contravention of the Good Governance Act.

“The PLP has remained consistent in our position. We are steadfast in the belief that MPs should know precisely what they’re voting for before they commit to this deal.

“We have repeatedly called for an impartial review by the Auditor General in advance to get an independent assessment of the cost of this project to the taxpayer. At a bare minimum, given the magnitude of this deal, the government owes this assessment to the country. This suggestion has fallen on the OBA’s chronically deaf ears.

“For the good of Bermuda, we again request an independent review by the Auditor General and that the OBA provide full disclosure of crucial contract details including the Lease, the Master Assignment and Consent Agreement, and the Domestic Contract to the Auditor General.

“The PLP is committed to defending Bermudian interests and does not accept the OBA’s attempts to placate the people with smoke and mirrors.”

229-Page Airport Agreement Released

Since the statement said they “agreed to release the Schedules publicly,” we asked for a copy of the documents, and were provided with the below [PDF here].

airplane click here copy (1)

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Comments (25)

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  1. Lois Frederick says:

    Burt has got all he’s going to get. If it means burning the candle at both ends to read through by Friday, I suggest you all do that.

    • Onion Juice says:

      U.B.P. got caught out AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Ringmaster says:

        I thought you supported the PLP? They have so many ex UBP MPs, including a past UBP Leader, that it’s hard to keep up.

  2. watching says:

    Well done by the PLP to have pushed for openness and transparency over the past 2 years. The OBA have tried their hardest to avoid releasing any information whatsoever. Great work MP Burt and the PLP team!
    But this is not the end. Releasing the schedules is only step 1. We now need the Auditor General to review the entire agreement. The OBA campaigned on transparency, openness, and accountability. Let’s have it.

    • NCM says:

      The Government signed a Non Disclosure Agreement with CCC and Aecon – so they were legally obliged NOT to release this information. Nothing about trying their hardest to avoid releasing information.

      In reality – this has been the most transparent capital project in Bermuda’s history. Can’t say the same about the hospital (for which we still don’t know any of the pertinent details including who is behind Paget Health Services and what the Government guarantee entails – amoung many other aspects of the agreement that are redacted.) Or the Dame Louis Building, TCD, Heritage Wharf, and the list goes on.

      Get on with building our new airport!

    • Jus' Wonderin' says:

      If you don’t know how it works, the AG does their work after projects are completed lol. The reason it wasn’t released, same reason as other business projects, is because its not completed yet. THERE IS NOTHING SHADY GOING ON…open your minds!

  3. sandgrownan says:

    What’s your alternative? It can’t go out to tender because we have no money. We can’t rebuild, because a) we have no money and that’s b) throwing good money (if we had any) after bad.

    The reason we have no money is because of the PLP through incompetence or corruption. Take your pick, it’s one or the other.

    Do you want inject cash into the working and middle classes for many years or are you against that?

  4. Warlord says:

    I would like more information on the LB Evans count building,Port Royal GC and the emissions building and Heritage Wharf .etc etc etc

  5. wow says:

    Two days to review 229 pages. Even for those who think it is a good deal, surely you can agree this is absurd.

  6. Triangle Drifter says:

    Burt & Co will keep whining till they hear what they want to hear. Facts don’t matter.

    • Terry says:

      Just like Brown an Co.

      In a few years the courts will be full of people known by the Co. you keep.
      Stay tuned.

  7. Terry says:

    “immense pressure”.

    More like getting in the way and slowing progress

  8. Justin says:

    We all know that what you really want is for the PLP to build a new airport. You know, the ol’ friends and family plan…

  9. Intrigued says:

    It would be good if the OBA would just release ALL of the information and not just little drips.

    People have the right to know!

    • Johnt says:

      You just got the 220 page development agreement missing schedules and all. There is no more information to release (although if the PLP shout loud enough I’m sure they’ll believe there is).

  10. Onion says:

    Burt is so full of nonsense. 220 page agreement along with a ton more documentation (far more than the Hopsital) and he thinks it’s “smoke and mirrors”.

    The PLP need to get someone mature and responsible as Shadow Finance Minister.

  11. wahoo says:

    Tell us where the $800M is.

  12. Ringmaster says:

    There will never be enough information for the PLP to agree to the deal because they don’t want it built unless the PLP builds it. The UK Government has reviewed it but that isn’t Independent enough. Asking the Auditor General to review it, which is not her role, plainly means he doesn’t have the skill to do it himself, yet he is the Shadow Minister of Finance. Imagine if he became the Minister of Finance. They are on a witch hunt that’s all.

  13. Point boy says:

    If he believes only half the $h1t he is talking.

    We’re still in

  14. Point boy says:


  15. What?? says:

    I’m looking forward to checking out the Airport Casino when it opens.